If a game isn’t even playable and you’d have to consult external information just to get started, then that’s bad design.
If there are are so many mechanics, strategies and simply depth in a game that it simply couldn’t all be easily conveyed to the player, then something like a wiki is just the right thing to do. Or good old trial and error.
As others said, figuring out parts of the game yourself is part of the fun, for many even a big point to play a game to begin with. If there is nothing to figure out, then the game just isn’t very deep - which is fine for some games, but certainly not all.
The thing is… What seems like just randomly combining items to you, might be perfectly logical and/or intuitive and/or fun to another person.
A game really only has a problem when a majority of the intended target audience has these issues. If it bothers you so much, the game might just not be for you. Which isn’t that unexpected, given that nobody likes everything.
While I agree that everything in a game should have a purpose, that purpose might as well be to mislead and trick the player. An entirely useless item to build seems to be part of that - I could imagine “Did you build the “thing” yet?” to be a fun topic within the community. Both to poke fun at noobs and to reminisce about the time when you were a noob yourself.
I knew someone who decorated their house in Morrowind with entirely useless items, dropping the framerate to single digits. Just because they could. Which just shows that even if the developer puts something in that really doesn’t have much or any purpose - it might end up having some anyway.